From Soil to City

Winter Foods & How to Stay Healthy

With Fall here and Winter approaching, our produce is changing along with how we eat it. During this time, local produce can be hard to find when cold weather inhibits crop growth. Fall/Winter produce consists of root vegetables like beets, turnips, carrots, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, apples and pears just to name a few. Each ingredient provides another level of unique nutritional value and flavor and it can be a fun change of pace to explore these ingredients. Unlike Spring/Summer foods, this season calls for comforting warm dishes.

One of the most popular dishes for this season is soup. It’s winter’s perfect & healthy food as long as you hold the cream, salt and beef. Look for soup recipes that call for chicken broth (Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium, but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals) you can create the stock with our chicken share after roasting, full an in depth recipe for how to make nutrient dense chicken broth from a whole chicken click here. Vegetable broth (check out our CSA scrap vegetable broth recipe) or water as the base and include a lot of vegetables, if you have a veggie share you can throw most of this into your soups. Pair your soup with a side of 100 percent whole grain crackers for a dose of grains. Stews are also a great dish that lends itself to lots of leftovers. And lastly, casseroles are easy to prepare. A few great resources for recipe roundups include Deliciously Ella, Kimberly Snyder & exploring Pinterest.

Some other great recipes include roasting carrots for a boost of beta-carotene, or boiling turnips for vitamins C and A. Aside from getting the flu shot and washing your hands regularly, cruciferous vegetables may be your top defense against winter sickness. Broccoli and cauliflower are both high in vitamin C, which is associated with enhanced immune function. If you can’t find fresh versions, don’t fret — frozen broccoli and cauliflower are just as nutritious. Dark leafy greens, such as kale, chard and collards, thrive in the chill of winter when the rest of the produce section looks bleak, it contains high levels of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium.

During the holiday season, there tends to be a lot of treats around. It’s good to indulge every now and then but it’s beneficial to find some healthy alternatives. A few tips include indulging in these treats but only taking a few bites, recreating desert recipes and substituting in healthier ingredients such as applesauce or prune puree for half of the called-for butter, using stevia instead of regular sugar, ½ tsp for 2 tbsp of sugar, 1 cup black beans for 1 cup of flour in brownie recipes. And lastly, to load up on fiber & greens throughout your day to keep you full, you wont even crave those unhealthy treats your office coworkers have brought in. If you’re interested in learning more about how important fiber is daily, take a listen to this podcast episode from The Skinny Confidential in conversation with dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot. Stay warm & healthy friends!

Contributed by Jennifer Weinstein